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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/27/12

Why I Left the Democratic Party (a Long Time Ago)

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Message Jerry Kann
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Can registered independents join together to do electoral politics? Yes, I suppose so. But if they do join together to run a candidate...well, right then and there they've as much as formed a political party, haven't they? True, the bunch of volunteers (or paid staff, if the campaign can raise that kind of money) will presumably be a pretty small group of people. But small as it may be, it will still be a group, a collective, a team...a party. Or at least it will be heading in that direction.

And, given the difficulties of running for public office, why shouldn't people band together and rally round a common platform? Doing that will not automatically confer dictatorial power on the busybodies who see themselves as the "leadership." If each individual member thinks of the group as something like a workers' co-op, then they will strive to make the group democratic and egalitarian. They can hold every member of the group to certain basic, reasonable standards of conduct. The group doesn't have to head toward the extreme of authoritarianism, on the one hand, or to the extreme of looney, "anything goes" behavior on the other. Mutually respectful, rational, focused, diligent, independent organizing can make it possible to have real democracy in the internal affairs of a new progressive party. Is this kind of organizing easy? Not at all; it's very difficult. But the rewards would be enormous, and well worth the trouble.

Independence is indeed the key word here. No third party of any stripe willever amount to anything in this country unless it dedicates itself to remaining absolutely independent of the two major parties. If such a new party tries to make common cause with the "progressives" who are still Democrats,it will find itself being pulled back into a vast sewer of corruption, andpulled hard. Go ahead and shake hands with a bully--but don't expect him to let go. Why should he? He needs your time and your labor and your obedience. If he can't get that, at the very least he wants you on the sidelines watching the game instead of competing in it. But who cares what he wants? What you want is what's important.

As for doing politics as a registered independent--as a non-aligned voter--in point of fact I don't know anything about it from personal experience. But I'd say it would certainly be a step in the right direction for anybody who's weary of the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party and who's itching to leave. As a Democrat--or as a Republican--you're only aiding and abetting bankers and warmongers and other criminals. Get free of the bastards, any wayyou can.

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Jerry Kann has made his living in New York City since the late 1980s in a variety of odd jobs--proofreader, copywriter, messenger, secretary--all while pursuing the very challenging avocation of independent politics. For years Kann's primary (more...)

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